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Retiring my WHS2011 soon, need advice on next steps


oj88
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As the title suggests, I am in need of some advice in determining the next phase to continue using my server. With WinSvr 2008 (where WHS2011 is based on) approaching EoSu, I will have to start planning on migrating my media to a more modern OS.

 

If cost is NOT an issue, is there any practical advantage running Plex Media Server (PMS) on a server OS like 2016 or 2019 vs a client OS like Win10?

 

I am haunted by the idea I read a long time ago that server OSes handles background apps better compared to client OSes. I would like to think that PMS runs in the background so logic would have me put it in a server OS. But then, how much better will it be? Will it be worth it, considering that managing a server OS would be a little harder than Win10?

 

Another consideration is PC backup... which will only be available, out-of-the-box, with WinSvr 2012 and 2016 (Essentials Role). With most of my client PC's WHS2011 Launchpad becoming broken, I have started using Veeam (free) on some of those PCs. And although it works great and I like the fact that you can backup multiple PCs concurrently, managing it is a little painful compared to the central management capability of WHS or the Essentials Role. I like the light-handed approach of having visibility on whether individual PCs were backed up successfully or not as well as initiate a manual backup from the server side, on demand. With Veeam, I can't see much on the server side other than the fact that the backup folder timestamps have changed..... but no indication of backup success or failure.  

 

Any thoughts?

Edited by oj88
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Anyone? 

 

I’d love to pick your brain. I admit that I’m probably over-thinking this but considering that my WHS2011 ran for over 8 years with very little hiccup, I’d like the new OS to work for the next 8 or so, with the same or better stability and reliability, among other improvements.

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I don't beleive there is any performance advantage in running plex media server on a server platform versus desktop OS. The program is the same for both and management is handled thru its web interface rather than anything running on the server

The big issue are dealing with putting the computer to sleep, if you are using plex DVR

I recently tested having my plex server run on a W10 machine. I was trying to see if I could improve DVR performance versus my existing Qnap set up. (Spoiler, it didn't help at all)

I lost a couple of recordings because the system didn't wake up. The plex forums recommend turning sleep off on a w10 server. A common work aroud is to let the server sleep only when specified - ei over night

If you aren't using plex for 24/7 DVR, then this may not be an issue

This hasn't been an issue with my qnap nas. Server gurus may be able to setup power management in the windows platform. Would love to hear from them on this

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Thank you for that insight.

 

I do keep the server running 24x7 for a single reason; hard disk life seems to fare better on an always-on system compared to one that shuts down frequently. My oldest WD Red drive, still with 100% health, is already clocking in at almost 7 years of total uptime. The same drives have only seen an average of 100 to 280 start/stop count in their lifetime.

 

But I digress.

 

I think I'll take WinSvr 2016 with Essentials Role a spin, just for the client backup features.

Edited by oj88
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  • 2 weeks later...

I move all of my file storage on my old (Dual Core Celeron) WHS2011 box to a less old Core i3 machine running Win10 Pro. I've installed Drive Pool and Plex and it running fine. Managing uses and shares isn't as easy, but I don't change that much once it's set up. I also had to configure Win10 to auto login to a user to keep Plex working. I didn't set Plex up initially to run as a service so it will only run when a user is login, unless I want to reconfigure everything, and right now I don't.

 

Win10 Pro has been a solid replacement with one exception, I still don't have a good replacement for remote access. I have a VPN setup on a Raspberry Pi and it works fine, but I have found that a bunch of places that I would need to connect from (the Children's Hospital, Metro Library and Work's public wi-fi) all block VPNs. I can still get through with WHS remote access at those locations. So for the moment I'm going to keep 2011 running, just with nothing else running on it, except some intranet web services that I have written and installed on it.

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  • 6 months later...

I was finally able to muster up the courage to put my WHS2011 of 9 years out of its misery, and move over to Windows Server 2019.

 

I've pretty much successfully moved all of the vital workloads and utilities with minor issues... Drive Bender pool, Plex Media Server, UniFi Controller, PCNS, OneDrive, Hard Disk Sentinel, etc.

 

Next up, antivirus. I was using ESET Internet Security with WHS2011 but the subscription ran out just a few days ago. The question now is, can I just use the built-in one; Windows Security? Or should I opt for 3rd-party protection? If it's the latter, what would you guys recommend and/or what are you already using, taking into account the type of work this server is going to be doing?

 

 

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I for one have stopped using vendor AV as of the win10 era (win10, server2016) as microsoft's built-in has a decent reputation of late. And there have been quite a few instances where AV vendors' hooks into the OS got exploited for evil. not to mention snooping on your web activities etc.

 

My son for some reason prefers Sophos Home free version, although they had an issue with certain microsoft patches at one point causing boot failures. please choose carefully!

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I don't see myself moving to '2019 but it would be good to hear from you in some time to know how '2019 is serving your needs, reliability, etc....I really miss that dreamspark!

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I've been running 2019 for a while tbh, file backups are done via OneDrive, yeah I might have to rebuild a machine every now and again but theres only really my PC and one of the kids has a Surface.

As long as I can use Hyper-V, Drivepool and Scanner, thats pretty much all I need.

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Thanks everyone.

 

As of this writing, it's just been running for less than 24 hours and I can see that it's going to be more stable. For one thing, 2019 now has access to the system's full 24GB RAM compared to the 8GB limit with WHS2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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